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Fascinating photos reveal evolution of train stations over last 160 years, some hardly changed

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New South Wales: In 1849, the Sydney Railway Company began construction on the first railway track in New South Wales, connecting Sydney and Parramatta. The 22km project ran into money problems and was stalled until the state government took over. The line officially opened six years later on September 26, 1855.

Victoria: Australia’s first railway line became operational on September 12, 1854, when a brief track between Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station and Port Melbourne was opened. The line originally operated as a track for steam-powered trains, but has since been converted into one of the tram lines synonymous with the city.

Queensland: The first railway in Queensland ran from Ipswich inland to Grandchester. The system was extended further before being connected with Brisbane in 1875.

South Australia: South Australia had a horse-drawn railway at the head of the Murray River in 1854, and the first line carrying steam trains opened on 21 April 1856 between Adelaide and Port Adelaide.

Western Australia: The state’s first track was a private timber railway from Lockville to Yoganup, south of Perth, which kicked off in 1871.

Tasmania: A 72km railway line opened between the northern Tasmanian towns of Launceston and Deloraine in 1868. 

Northern Territory: The Territory’s first railway line arrived in October 1889. But the completion of the Alice Springs to Darwin rail link in January 2004 is more iconic in the NT’s rail history, completing the rail link between all mainland states and territories.

Australian Capital Territory: A 10km standard-gauge branch line opened between Queanbeyan, NSW, and Canberra in 1914. The line began taking passengers almost a decade later in 1923.


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